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Mr. Brooks - Blu-ray DVD / suspense DVD / thriller review
MR. BROOKS Rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 3 1/2 stars
Featuring: Kevin Costner, Demi Moore, Dane Cook, William Hurt, Marg Helgenberger
Director: Bruce A. Evans   Studio: MGM
DVD release: 23 October 2007   Runtime: 120 minutes (1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, Blu-ray
DVD features:Audio tracks (DTS-HD Lossless Master Audio 5.1 Surround - English; Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround - Spanish), Subtitles (English, Spanish), 1080p/AVC MPEG-4, Commentary (director/co-writer Bruce A. Evans & co-writer Raynold Gideon), Deleted scenes, "Cat and Mouse: Inside the Mr. Brooks Case File trivia track," "The Birth of a Serial Killer," "On the Set of Mr. Brooks," "Murder on Their Minds," Theatrical trailer in HD

A tense and engaging thriller, Mr. Brooks stars Kevin Costner as Earl Brooks, a businessman who is both the "Thumbprint Killer" and man of the year. The hook of this film is that Earl doesn't like killing - he's addicted to it and is torn between his addiction and his desire to stop. But his serial killing alter-ego, Marshall (William Hurt), simply won't let him.

The main plot develops when Earl fails to adhere to his own rules: he committs a murder but isn't thorough in its execution, which comes to bite him in the rear in the form of Mr. Smith (Dane Cook). What Mr. Smith has is photos of Earl at the crime scene. What he wants in exchange for the photos is to go with Earl on on of his kills.

That is the main premise of Mr. Brooks. Another plot thread involves his daughter, and Det. Tracy Atwood (Demi Moore), who has been tracking the "Thumbprint Killer" for years, on a hunch starts to question Mr. Smith. Ahh, I know, it's getting a bit convoluted, but it's not as bad as you think.

For me, the only real problem of the film is that it isn't quite sure what it wants to be - it's part procedural, part psychological thriller, part drama. It should have stuck to its guns and been more of a drama, because the dual character of Earl Brooks and Marshall works. Everything else around it ranges from okay to good; both Demi and Dane are servicable in their roles, but it's really the insertion of some unbelievable action sequences (one involving an abduction of Moore's character) that really spoils her aspect in the movie.

For a mainstream audience, it's a risky move to visualize what Earl Brooks is thinking via Marshall. But if the filmmakers were going to go that far, they should have gone all the way and kept it a tight psychological drama.

What might seem like a silly ploy at first really latches on as the movie progresses. The interactions between Hurt and Costner are not just sardonic, manical ramblings, but also one particularly moving one as well. Both Costner and Hurt give tremednous performances in what might otherwise be a movie for late-night cable.
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reviewed by Bobby Blades
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